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Wearing the Inside Out- Hady Barry

Guinean-American Photographer, Hady Barry takes her viewers on an intimate journey of motherhood through her project ‘Wearing the Inside Out’ which explores her experience living with a friend who was pregnant with her second child. Through her images, Hady projects both her fears and fascination with pregnancy alongside a subtle inadequacy that is felt for not going down the same path as her friend.

“I moved back to Abidjan and ended up staying with a childhood friend and her family. Last year she became pregnant with her second child. Sharing an intimate space with her forced me to ask myself if I also want to be a mother and if that was something that I wanted for myself or if I was only thinking about it because she was going through that. Sometimes it’s difficult to separate what you want from what you think you are expected to want” explains Hady. Hady’s discreet curiosity can be seen through her capturing of everyday things such as slippers and shadows, however, despite the simplicity of such objects, her images carry an unexplainable weight which inevitably draws the viewer in causing them to make their own assumptions on her intended meaning for capturing such things.

“This is very much a collaborative project. I am capturing her life in her house, and she has to be very much willing to give in order for me to get the images. I wanted these images to be like a time capsule so that they can be placed anywhere and you wouldn’t know exactly when it was taken, that’s why I chose black and white. I wanted that nostalgic feel to be there” states Hady. The use of black and white imagery certainly succeeds in enabling the images to transcend time which removes the distraction of people focusing on when the images were taken and instead, enables the viewer to focus solely on what they are seeing in front of them.

Hady made an interesting revelation, “I realised that I was drawn to taking photos of her when she was tired, exhausted, exasperated. I was in fact capturing my own feelings on pregnancy and the difficulties that it entails. This project is definitely ongoing and has shifted towards capturing more of the mood instead of capturing just interactions with her and her daughter. The feelings I am trying to capture are very complex and taking pictures of her interacting with her family will not give it much depth.”

“My biggest advice would be to take your time and not be too eager to share. Take your time with your project and allow it to shape and find out what it means to you and the message that you want to communicate to your audience. Once you have established all of this, then you can think about how you want to share it. I found that at the beginning of the year, there was this pressure to put my work out there in the public domain, but really it is better to take your time and allow your work to take shape.” Hady Barry

Hady Barry is an Guinean-American Photographer based in Abidjan. She is drawn to stories about connection, identity, and memory. Her work is anchored by an interest in micro stories, the sublime in what might seem mundane, and the universality of personal experiences. This approach is an opposition to the voyeuristic legacy of photography in the documentation of the lives of Africans and people of African descent. To view more of her work, visit her website

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